Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

September 8, 2007 7:26 PM

The Ames Straw Poll

Politics is full of rituals. The Republicans' Ames straw poll is one of them. And like other rituals, at least in modern times, it doesn't seem to mean a whole lot in the broader scheme of things.

What does seem to mean something is who is leading in the national polls at the time of the Ames straw poll.

1979 - George Bush won the Straw poll with 36% of the vote, John Connolly and Bob Dole were 2nd, with 15% each. Ronald Reagan led in the Gallup poll, 29% to Jerry Ford's 21%. Reagan was nominated.

1987 - Pat Robertson won the Straw poll with 34%, Bob Dole was 2nd with 25%, George Bush was 3rd with 23%. Bush led in the Gallup, with 40% to Dole's 20%. Bush was nominated.

1995 - Bob Dole tied with Phil Gramm for 1st place in the Straw poll with 24%, and Pat Buchanan was 3rd with 18%. Dole led in the Gallup, with 31% to Gramm's 8%. Dole was nominated.

1999 - George W. Bush won the Straw poll with 31%, Steve Forbes was 2nd with 21%. Bush led in the Gallup with 61%. Bush was nominated.

2007 - Mitt Romney won the Straw poll with 32%, Mike Huckabee finished 2nd with 18%. Rudy Giuliani was leading in the Gallup, with 30%, followed by Fred Thompson at 19%. [?] was nominated.

By the way, only 14,306 folks showed up for the most recent Straw poll.

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